They had a 15-point first half lead, 13 during much of the third quarter and 10 points with 10 minutes to go... yet, they lost the lead in the next four minutes and never could get their focus back on a hard-charging Thunder.
The Suns got the deficit to 4 with 1:24 left, but Chris Paul missed a jumper and Ish Wainright missed a corner three to turn the game into a free-throw contest.
Story of the game? The Thunder scored 31 points on only 14 Suns turnovers, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander got 19 free throws as part of a 40-point game as the Thunder won their 5th straight home game. Josh Giddey, Isaiah Joe and Lu Dort all scored 15+ for the Thunder.
For the Suns, Devin Booker was incredible with 46 points on 18 of 27 shooting, but only one other Suns player had double-digit scoring and that was Chris Paul with 14 points on 15 shots.
The Thunder also had 12 more free throws than the Suns, the 21st time an opponent has 10+ more FTs than the Suns, who are 7-14 in such games now.
Deandre Ayton (groin/hip) and Kevin Durant (ankle) were OUT today for the Suns, who were outrebounded 44-40 in this one.
Suns lose, 124-120.
Suns are now 38-33 on the season, and have lost 4 of their last 5 games. They have two days off, then will play at the Lakers on Wednesday night.
First Half notes
The Phoenix Suns started the game with a lot more energy than the OKC Thunder and used that to build a 11-2 lead right out of the date. Torrey Craig and Bismack Biyombo got early blocks, while Chris Paul got three quick steals.
The Suns pushed that lead to 29-16 before second units for both sides allowed the game to get mucky in favor of the Thunder, who went on a 9-0 run to pull within four before the Suns closed the quarter with a bucket for a 31-25 lead after one.
Devin Booker had 12 first-quarter points and Josh Okogie had 8. For the Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander collected 13 points on 9 shots and 8 free throws.
The second quarter was solid for the Suns, who pushed out to a 51-37 lead on the back of many of those second unit guys. Landry Shamet got some run in his first game in two months and made a quick impact — draining a pair of corner threes, including one on the run, and a pair of three throws for 7 points in only 6 minutes. Terrence Ross made some shots too, including a pair of threes of his own and a pair of jumpers for 10 points in 8 minutes.
The threes kept falling for the Suns in the second quarter and Torrey Craig made their 10th three of the game to put the Suns up 69-56 with just under a minute left in the half.
At halftime, the Suns led 69-57. Devin Booker has 16 points, Chris Paul has 8 assists, and 10 different Suns have scored. The Thunder are led by SGA with 21 points. Isaiah Joe has 10 off the bench.
Second Half notes
To start the second half, the Suns kept scoring but then Josh Okogie collected his 4th personal foul and had to be subbed out, for Landry Shamet.
The Thunder cut the Suns 13-point lead to 76-70 on a pair of threes by Lu Dort around an overturned foul call on Dort, which would have been Dort’s 4th of the game. But the Suns responded with a 7-2 run to push the lead back to a 11 and force another Thunder timeou t with the Suns up 83-72.
Lu Dort drained his 3rd three-pointer of the quarter, but then drew his 4th foul on a Booker three-point play as the Suns maintained the lead. The Thunder just kept coming, and the Suns missed a handful of layups to allow the Suns to pull back to within 86-81.
Devin Booker would not be denied, though, and helped push the Suns lead back out with one of his patented third quarter runs. He had 17 in the quarter.
The Suns nearly finished the 3rd quarter with a 96-87 lead, but Cam Payne committed a live-ball turnover with 4 seconds left that SGA turned into a three-point play as time expired.
Suns lead is only 96-90 as a result, after three quarters. Booker has 33 after three. Suns are 13-29 on threes, but made only 1 of their last 5.
SGA has 30, including making 10 of 13 free throws in a game he’s been stopped in the paint with no foul call or score at least 6 times. This guy is RELENTLESS and so smooth on those drives.
The Suns started the fourth quarter okay, taking a 100-90 lead, but then committed even more turnovers on some really dumb passes, along with Jock Landale getting blocked at the rim, and well... the Suns lead got down to 100-96 way too fast. The Thunder now have 26 points on the just Suns 12 turnovers.
A minute later, it’s a 100-100 tie 7:16 left in the game. Damion Lee, Cam Payne and Jock Landale all having really tough games today. But even when the Suns brought back in Chris Paul and Devin Booker, the tide was already turned.
Dort’s 4th triple of the game gave them their first lead, 103-102. Then it was 105-92 on an easy layup from SGA to Josh Giddey. Isaiah Joe’s triple made it 108-102.
That’s an 18-2 run, folks. Thunder lead is 6. Timeout, Suns. That one-time 15-point lead is long gone. It was a 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter!
The Thunder leda became 9 points on a Booker turnover that the Thunder turned into ANOTHER three-point play. That’s 29 points on 13 Suns turnovers now.
This game is completely turned now, and it’s really on the second-unit guys who allowed it to happen with a series of dumb plays. But you also put it back on the starters for not stemming the tide either.
The Thunder started trapping Booker at 90 feet — 90 FEET — and the Suns really needed to make them pay, but they could not get stops.
Tough loss for the Suns today.